Vietnam has made major progress in health outcomes over the past 20 years: maternal, infant and child mortality has fallen along with child stunting prevalence; skilled birth attendance has risen to 94 percent, nearly three-quarters of pregnant women receive four or more antenatal care visits and full immunization rates were at 98 percent in 2016. However, disadvantaged groups, especially ethnic minorities and those living in remote, mountainous areas continue to have limited access to health services and have worse health outcomes, and across the country, non-communicable diseases are on the rise.
The GFF Partnership Response
The GFF partnership is playing a pivotal role in Vietnam’s transition by buying down the interest rate of the Investing and Innovating for Grassroots Service Delivery Reform World Bank health project loan to more concessional terms with the GFF Trust Fund’s investment. The GFF is helping to mobilize more domestic resources for health and nutrition and primary care service delivery through the buy-down of the project, for which the GFF is financing US$17 million.
The project aims to help increase health system efficiency by improving the quality of the grassroots (commune) infrastructure to meet government benchmarks; equipping, training and enabling commune health stations to take on a new role in screening and managing non-communicable diseases while ensuring continued improvements in communicable diseases and reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health management and improving the quality with which maternal and child health services are delivered. The project is expected to be effective in May 2020.
The GFF resources supports the work to advance health financing reforms, helping to align support of development partners who support Social Health Insurance and other health financing reforms and providing technical assistance to the revision of the Social Health Insurance Law and associated policies.
The GFF partnership supports CRVS in Vietnam, helping to align independent CRVS initiatives towards a common goal, and integrating them with ministry of health (MOH) core activities. With this support, the MOH successfully prepared and approved the CRVS Action Plan and helped to raise the importance of CRVS in country.
In addition, the GFF is strengthening civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS), particularly death registration and cause of death reporting. Through Trust Fund support, technical assistance to the Ministry of Health is enabling the implementation of new standards for COD diagnosis and reporting at health facility and commune level. Finally, GFF is supporting the strengthening of public-private partnership (PPP) for health in Vietnam through capacity building activities and identification of potential health sector PPPs that can be developed into fully-fledged PPP outline business cases.